Blue Knights baseball starts season 8–4
DCTC baseball arrived nearly nine hours late to the 2009 RussMatt Central Florida Invitational due to a bus breakdown in Atlanta, Ga., but that didn’t stop the Blue Knights from winning eight of 12 games during their spring road trip.
The Knights took one doubleheader to recover, dropping two games on Saturday, March 7, to an NJCAA Div. II opponent, the Jackson Community College Jets of Jackson, Mich., 0–14 and 4–7.
The team bounced back March 8, rolling over the St. Cloud Technical College Cyclones, 11–0 and 14–4. Head Coach Randy Briesacher pointed out strong pitching performances from Ryan Rodeck, who hurled a three-hit shutout in the first game, and Luke Anderson, who held the line in the second.
After eight hours of hard-fought baseball on Monday, March 9, the Blue Knights prevailed over NJCAA Div. II foe the Mott Community College Bears of Flint, Mich. DCTC took the first game after 10 innings, winning 10–5 when Ben Briesacher singled, knocking in two runs. Jared Theis pitched a complete game in the 5–4 win in the second game of the doubleheader.
“We had a full team effort,” Coach Briesacher said. “Nobody was left on the bench when this one was over.”
DCTC swept the Itasca Community College Vikings March 11, 6–0 and 8–7. The next day, the team split a two-game outing against the Waubonsee Community College Chiefs of Sugar Grove, Ill., winning the first 5–3 and dropping the second 5–8. The Knights split again March 13 in the last doubleheader of the invitational, going 9–11 and 11–4 against the nationally ranked Oakton Community College Raiders of Des Plaines, Ill.
Extraordinary offense mapped out the road trip. As a team, DCTC batted a stunning .351 while holding opponents to a paltry .243. Sophomore Ben Briesacher swatted .395 with three doubles, one home run and 11 RBIs. Freshman Briar Braulick hit .393 with four doubles and a grand slam over nine games. Marcus Fitzgerald (.385), Evan Lucius (.382 with six doubles), Dillon Powell (.371) and Kevin Williams (.311) all had massive weeks with eight RBIs apiece. Batting leadoff, Alex Mack was living terror on the base paths, stealing nine in 11 games.
The pitching staff also excelled with a number of starters turning in excellent performances. Freshman Luke Anderson led the charge with two wins, posting a 2.77 ERA in a team-high 13 innings. Jeremie Kruse picked up a save and went 1–1 for the trip, as did Ryan Rodeck. Brad Lawson took on Minnesota rival Itasca, pitching a complete game shutout.
DCTC returns to action this Saturday, March 21, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, against the Kirkwood Community College Eagles. The Knights then travel to Boone, Iowa, to face the Des Moines Area Community College Bears , the number one ranked NJCAA Div. II team in the country. From there, it’s on to Mason City, Iowa, and a doubleheader against the North Iowa Area Community College Trojans on Wednesday, March 25.